Thursday, November 15, 2007

I eat Doritos 'cause they're good for the Environment

Did you know that Toyota has reduced the energy required to manufacture one of its vehicles by more than 24% in the last 5 years? Or that Frito-Lay has reduced its water use by 38 percent, natural gas by 27 percent and electricity by 21 percent since 1999 for a savings of $55 million a year in utility bills? Me neither. The best part of this info though is that I found it in the NY Times!

The article mainly discusses how Frito Lay is trying a test case of taking one of its chip plants "almost completely off the grid", via gray water recovery, solar power, and using left over chip sludge to create methane (though I'm pretty sure Mungowitz has already perfected and patented that process)!

But I am left wondering whether Toyota and Frito Lay are ahead of the curve and such large savings are still on the table for a lot of other companies (which would be good), or whether their cases are typical and there isn't much room left for energy efficiency gains while retaining the same basic infrastructures and production methods (which might be bad)?

Anybody know? Bueller?


Shawn said...

for a consulting fee, I will demonstrate to any industry making yummy foods how to turn excess material into methane.

Seriously, though, what I am surprised about is that they haven't marketed this. With all of the greensanity going around, I'd figure they'd trumpet this from the top of their enviro-friendly green roofs.

Anonymous said...

Word can't get out that they saved the environment for money. It's like going out with an ugly chick on a bet.

Fortunately, Toyota and Frito Lay are typically near the front of the curve for everything. There are probably some very low margin industries (industrial chemicals, etc) which constantly 'maximize on green' - so to speak.